(Topic ID: 142990)

The Who's TOMMY Club - Can you hear me? Members Only!

By ChadH

4 years ago

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  • 133 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 7 hours ago by zahner
  • Topic is favorited by 63 Pinsiders


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#19 4 years ago

ChadH, thank you for making a Tommy club! After 21 years of obsessing over the original album, Broadway show, and pinball machine, I'm FINALLY bringing one home in 2 weeks! It's my first pin and a rare gem too, I think - purchased NIB in '94 for a vacation house and rarely used by its original owner (everything works and it still has all original parts, topper, and bulbs). The seller has been fantastic and gave me a pretty nice price considering the condition of the machine (he's just glad it's going to "the right person who'll really appreciate it"). Maybe I'll type up the whole story for my Pinsider profile some time. Posting some pictures that I've taken on my visits and will post more once I bring it home!

The machine:

The playfield:

A peek inside:

#32 4 years ago

Has anyone upgraded the speakers in their Tommy? I was considering looking into a Pinball Pro or Flipper Fidelity speakers/sub set and I'm curious how dramatic the difference is with the stock sounds and music.

#47 4 years ago
Quoted from Ive:

Interesting. Looking around images on the web I see way more RED than ORANGE. They cant all be repros surely ?

Interesting indeed. My original Data East flyer for the game shows red slingshots. I also checked eBay and the web and only see red ones. My seller wouldn't have a clue as to how to buy or change them (he didn't even know there were batteries in the thing, leaving me with some minor board corrosion that I'll get fixed...at least he dropped the price due to that ). The only things he needed to have serviced (at least from his knowledge) were the flippers. There must be variations in the original plastics. It's odd that the Marco pictures have different numbers at the bottom too.

#70 4 years ago
Quoted from luvthatapex2:

Its funny, as a WHO fan too, I thought I would want to replace the tracks too, but I really like the mix in the game, so its staying. I added a nice subwoofer to it and it sounds great.

I'm a huge fan of both versions (original and Broadway), but also prefer the "in-context" game music like Ive said. I can understand why some fans may prefer the original versions, though. A lot of the Broadway versions of the songs have a much faster tempo (like Amazing Journey and Sensation), which works nicely in fast paced pinball. I'm surprised no one (from what I've seen) has used a Pinsound board to replace the Data East tracks with the corresponding tracks from the Broadway cast recording - it would be sort of like a music remaster haha. That might be a fun experiment for me some day if I ever get a Pinsound board.

#86 4 years ago

My Tommy machine is finally home! I'm beyond thrilled to finally own this game after two decades of dreaming about it. As I mentioned in a previous post, the unit is HUO and in excellent shape - playfield is fantastic with minimal wear, topper is intact (though a little damaged, sadly), and the blinders still work perfectly. It was used lightly enough that it has all of the original lamps and only 4 or 5 were dead. I think I got a good deal ($2900) considering the shape it's in. It did exhibit some quirky behavior after I got it home - launching double balls and thinking balls were missing. I had the trough switches' sensitivity adjusted and that seems to have solved the problem. I've cleaned it up a bit, installed some new balls and playfield glass, and added the propeller mod from Rob Hoffman (who was great to deal with like everyone says). Everything's looking and playing great! The main spot of wear and tear on my playfield is the right side VUK hole, so I'm thinking about getting some Cliffy protectors. I've decided against upgrading the speakers after hearing how loud it is in my apartment haha. Can't wait to play the heck out of this bad boy!

Sitting pretty next to a poster signed by the cast:


#89 4 years ago
Quoted from OLDPINGUY:

Enjoy, Number41...I have mine 15 plus years...Every time I turn it on, it brings a smile, and great fun....
I found NOS silver ball Target at Mayfair, if this is of help to anyone.

Thank you! I'll be the exact same way. I'm having as much fun cleaning, tuning, and tinkering as I am playing it! The silver ball target on my machine is actually a bit worn - so I'll have to see if I can get one from Mayfair as well - thanks so much!

#91 4 years ago
Quoted from Ive:

I replaced mine a few years back with NOS. Guess what ....its worn again ! Almost not worrying about I think

Hmm, maybe you're right, especially if it isn't that cheap (don't know the price)...chrome plastic really is the worst haha.

#98 4 years ago
Quoted from Ive:

I have always wondered about this extra hole. It feeds into the subway but there are no switches to register a ball entering. Its tucked away so you cant aim for it , and its position makes it extremely unlikely for a ball to ever fall in it ...I think I have had it happen once maybe. A leftover from the proto ? An idea that was abandoned ? Who knows.
Capture 1.PNG

In the time I've been able to play since getting my game home I've actually managed to ricochet the ball into this extra hole a couple times. Just an extra path into the VUK hole, I guess.

#99 4 years ago

Am I missing a part in the attached picture? From checking other owners' pictures it looks like it might be some sort of hex spacer on that screw? If I am missing it, any info on what it is (size, height, etc.) would be awesome. Thanks!

#101 4 years ago
Quoted from danisme:

Looks like you're missing a hex spacer. The manual mentions several of them on page 42 but does not depict which one is which. It lists Tapped 6-32 in 1/2", 1", 1 1/2", and 2". Mine is 11/2". Here is a pic.
2015-11-19 Tommy.jpg

Thanks a ton for checking! I was about to order one when I found it inside the cabinet. My OCD is now curbed for the moment haha.

#103 4 years ago
Quoted from Ive:

Dammit ! Now you have made me double check mine and notice I don't have one
Wonder why it was there - to prevent a potential ball trap maybe ?

Oh no, haha! It sort of just seems to act as a post/support for the habitrail to keep it in place better, but I'm not sure! Another weird thing on my machine was that the blue metal shooter lane guide (flap?) wasn't installed...it was just sitting in the coin tray. Ball launch was a little unsteady until I put it back in.

#106 4 years ago
Quoted from Ive:

Hmm. You have picture of this ?? No flap on my shooter lane either.

Ive, here's a pic (it's blue like the other ramp flaps). It was sitting in my coin box and never installed. My tech noted that the ball launch felt "squirrely" (haha) and it was better after we installed this.


#108 4 years ago
Quoted from luvthatapex2:

That is not the stock shooter lane guide on tommy. Tommy has a one piece shooter lane guide that starts even with the captive ball and ends in an angle at the loop. It's a one piece stainless steel guide.
Looks like yours has a 2 piece guide from another game. This is what the stock guide looks like, but I'm sure yours will work fine.

If I remove the blue guide, mine looks exactly like yours. I think the blue guide part shipped with the machines but wasn't installed in most cases (as it matches the ramp flaps exactly). My seller never added or changed any parts (including the original batteries, sadly...which were still factory zip-tied in) after getting the machine new in '94 - he didn't even know how to open the back box or take the playfield glass out. He only knew how to open the coin door to take his quarters out hah. The ball launch was just slightly smoother after adding the extra guide to the stock guide, so it works for me, I guess! I've seen the blue guide piece in other pics around the web too.

#110 4 years ago
Quoted from luvthatapex2:

Oh, so its a guide on top of the stock guide? I see. Well then, sorry, I have never seen this on a TOMMY. Interesting!!! Thanks for the info.

No worries haha - I was puzzled by it when I found it in the coin box and immediately had to research and see if other machines had it! Maybe it's just included for cases where the launch path gets "squirrely" like mine without it? Who knows!

#114 4 years ago
Quoted from RDReynolds:

Anyone have suggestions on fixing the autolauncher? Mine works about 40% of the time (i.e., up and around to the left flipper)...

This older thread has some info on the 2nd page from owners who've replaced their auto-launch assembly - may help out. What's normal behavior for it? Mine seems to make it around to the upper flipper most of the time (maybe like 70%-80% of the time?) but sometimes doesn't (falls into the pop bumpers or whatever).


#122 4 years ago

Here's a coin door key "mod" that I'm pretty thrilled with - it's the little things. Had it made from one of my photos!


1 week later
#124 4 years ago

After a couple weeks of playing my machine a lot, I noticed the auto-launch kicker having weak launches here and there like people have mentioned - resulting in multi-balls getting messy etc. Some mentioned changing out the assembly or shortening their shooter tips and after giving it some thought, I tried an alternate fix -- I replaced the 3/4" barrel spring on my shooter rod with a 1" spring. So far so good - it pulls it back enough so the ball settles without bouncing off the shooter tip and the auto kicker is always strong. Just thought I'd mention it in case it works for anyone else.

#125 4 years ago

I've been testing out Titan silicone flipper bands and I'm pretty much sold - they play wonderfully. I had just finished putting PL black rubber all throughout (to keep it similar to factory original), but now I'll likely do a complete Titan silicone overhaul. The only issue is the lack of 2.75" bands for the slingshots (Matt from Titan said 2.75" will eventually be added, but 2.5" may work for now). One thing I noticed is that my rubber ring configuration (original black Happ rubber from the factory that was never changed...so hard and brittle!) was slightly different than what's in the manual. I've been considering making a diagram to document how it came from the factory (differences are pretty minor). If anyone is interested in seeing this, I'll definitely do it.

Can't decide which color I want to stick with for a while. Not sure if I'm crazy, but I feel like the orange Titan bands are a bit more rigid than the other 2 colors - may have to ask Matt about that. These pics were taken today - my Tommy has seen many hours of polishing, cleaning, restoring, and tweaking since I picked it up!




#127 4 years ago
Quoted from DRDAVE:

The red looks like a winner. =)

They are snazzy for sure! Thanks for those and the first class repair work on my game, Dave!

#130 4 years ago
Quoted from Ive:

I have White Superbands on my Tommy, with White rubber. I like it

Quoted from Kerry_Richard:

Funny how I've owned Tommy for nearly 20 years and haven't noticed his white pants, until your post on the white rubbers.

White looks pretty slick, too! I may need to add it to my options now haha. Tommy is always (symbolically) in white in the show and gets the yellow jacket after he's "cured" and becomes an idol, hence the white pants.

#131 4 years ago

Help! One of the plastics (#07, the large triangular blue and yellow one underneath the left ramp) just broke. I'm having trouble finding a replacement (not sure I even can). Of course this happens right before I order protectors. Any leads would be much appreciated - thanks!

#133 4 years ago
Quoted from Krakatoa:

Just did a quick search and found this on eBay:
ebay.com link » Tommy By Data East 1994 Original Nos Pinball Machine Plastics Choice See Pic
Edit: or were you referring to #17

I found this too - it says "07" on the plastic itself, but it's #17 in that listing. It's not listed as an option in the menu, but I messaged the seller just in case.

#134 4 years ago
Quoted from Number41:

Help! One of the plastics (#07, the large triangular blue and yellow one underneath the left ramp) just broke. I'm having trouble finding a replacement (not sure I even can). Of course this happens right before I order protectors. Any leads would be much appreciated - thanks!

Here's an image of the plastic I'm desperately trying to find now...


#136 4 years ago
Quoted from luvthatapex2:

Its a fairly hidden plastic under the ramp, so glue it and someday you'll find a replacement.
I use GOOP for mending plastics and its very durable and dries fast.

Yeah, that's pretty much what I'm thinking in the mean time. It's a clean break and not too obvious. I have to take that assembly apart to change bulbs and rubber anyway.

#137 4 years ago

Crisis averted! Found a replacement for the broken plastic - The Pinball Resource to the rescue! They had a 5-piece plastic set that includes the one I need for a great price. It's on its way and now I just need Pinbits to hurry up with the plastic protectors (it's been in processing for a little while, hope it comes through). It's funny - there's a very nice looking Tommy up for sale here in MA and from the pictures it looks like the same plastic broke in the exact same place.

#148 3 years ago

Do any of you have Pinbits plastic protectors installed? They're awesome and I got most of mine in, but now it sounds like the small amount of added height is making the ball hit the glass as the VUK kicks it up. Freaking me out a little.

Edit: I may have fixed it with some adjusting. The extra height from the protectors has required me to tweak a few things (like removing one of the gray spacers on the left spinner).

#152 3 years ago
Quoted from MAJRob:

Merry Christmas Pinsiders,
I am going to look at a Tommy this weekend and was wondering if there is anything I should be on the lookout for? I know the blinders are near impossible to find but what about a thing else?
I greatly appreciate any Intel!

If you can get into the coin door and put it in Diagnostic mode (press black button while green switch is pushed in), you can check out the auto-launch kicker with the "Easy Trough Clear" test. The blinder and mirror tests are in this menu too, along with lamp and coil tests.

#153 3 years ago
Quoted from MAJRob:

Awesome! Thank you. Are there any unobtanium plastics to look out for? Or common wear spots?

Some of the plastics can be hard to come by (I just had one break and had a tough time finding a replacement, but managed). Definitely check to see if any are broken. Repros are out there for the slingshots and VUK plastic. Common wear happens around the VUK hole - mine had some paint chipped away so I put Cliffy Protectors in. I also had some paint wear on the side rail where the ejected balls hit the black metal, covered that up with a metal guard. The silver ball target at the top gets pretty worn out too - mine has a stripe of the chrome worn away, but it doesn't really seem worth seeking out a replacement as it will just happen again.

#164 3 years ago
Quoted from Don44:

How do you adjust the game play volume on Tommy? I know how to adjust the music volume in the adjustments menu but what about the gameplay volume? Is there supposed to be a volume control somewhere? if so, I think its missing on mine.

There's what looks like a metal "post" on the right side inside the coin door (next to where the coin tray goes). That's actually the volume knob.

#170 3 years ago
Quoted from dung:

Seen several in the low 2k range this year. I have even seen one posted for 1800 but it needed to be shopped. Cannot say I have seen them pulling 3k. Only De's I see do that are GNR and SW.

I paid a bit under $3000 for mine, but it was a very lucky HUO find. $2200-$2500 sounds about right as others have said. People try to sell them on eBay for over $4000.

#174 3 years ago
Quoted from Ive:

Some machines came from factory with the extended side rails which afford some protection to the flipper button area (as seen on the flyer), though not completely - mine has them and there is still some small paint wear. Oddly these seem more common on the European machines I have seen, with US games more likely to have the regular rails ???? I have no evidence that this is the case just something I have noticed over the years, could just be coincidence the games I have seen.

I noticed this too, Ive! I haven't seen many of them that have those guards, but they're shown in the manual too as "Side Armor". I wouldn't mind having them! My machine somehow wasn't played enough to have any flipper button wear, so I put some removable clear vinyl button guards on to prevent it.

I also wanted to share some interesting observations on my machine's original factory rubber configuration. The rubber rings on top of the post sleeves on the right side of the VUK were 3/16" and not 5/16" like the manual states. This makes them stick out a little less and possibly gives just a tiny bit more clearance for that infamous right spinner shot. Also, there were no rubber post sleeves where the Holiday Camp captive ball is (just bare metal posts). I'm guessing this is to let it stick out more and be easier to hit...and maybe to have less bounce back risk? For now I'm keeping the rubber configured the same way (but replaced almost everything with Titan silicone, which is amazing!).

#182 3 years ago
Quoted from BigLebowski:

What post sleeves should there be around the Captive Ball? One on each side or (as the manual states) only one on the left side?
Right now I have two of Cliffy´s yellow sleeves installed but that makes it almost impossible to hit the Captive Ball.

My Tommy was an HUO unit that still had the original factory rubber on it - no sleeves at all around the Captive Ball. I kept it that way when replacing the rubber. It makes it stick out more and easier to hit (with less risky bounce back perhaps, too).

#183 3 years ago
Quoted from Don44:

My speakers have some static in them. They are flipper fidelity speakers and all 3 have the static. Any ideas what might cause this? I have checked all the connections to the speakers.

Is this like white noise static or the "normal" Data East electrical hum during attract mode?

#192 3 years ago
Quoted from BigLebowski:

That´s also what the manual states......
Isn´t that shot also important for the bonus multiplier?

Yeah, manual only shows sleeve on the left. Right side isn't really needed since you'd never hit it. Rubber put on by the factory had no sleeve on either post and no 5/16" rubber rings on the left side of the right spinner lane (like the manual shows) - only 3/16" rings were on those VUK area posts.

#193 3 years ago

Some interesting notes on repro vs. original parts...

My original factory start button has the "Touch Me" lettering tilted at angle (which I like) and the backup one that I just ordered has horizontally straight lettering. The lettering is also slightly less bold and the button's color is a little bit more of an orange red.

I also ordered an extra VUK plastic from Marco and the difference in printing is quite noticeable. The Marco repro has slightly more orange color - the yellow is darker and the red isn't as vibrant. There's also a bit of a moire (dot) pattern to the printing which the original doesn't have. The registration on the holes is also slightly off to one side. I'd imagine NOS ones are impossible to find now...

#194 3 years ago

Some before and after fun! While I've been partial to the original incandescent light setup in my machine, I decided to test out a handful of LED samples from Art over at Comet Pinball. After tinkering around with various brightness levels and types of white, I ultimately decided to keep my GI as incandescent and change all inserts to clear warm white 2-LED bulbs with a few exceptions - I used some frosted 1 or 2 SMD lights on larger inserts and yellow LEDs under the TOMMY mirror letters (those turned a more greenish-yellow with white LEDs under them that I wasn't a fan of). The pop bumpers have red 6-LED crystal fans in them. So far I'm thrilled with how it looks - the color saturation of the inserts really comes through and everything pops - while still nicely complemented by the warm incandescent GI lighting. Pictures don't quite do it justice, but they're the best I can do. Thanks for the awesome lights and service, Art! Next step is changing out the backbox lights to frosted LEDs. I've also installed Pinbits plastic protectors, Cliffy protectors, and all Titan silicone since the last time I posted any pics.

Oh, and a nice unexpected side effect of changing almost everything under the field to LED - hardly any electrical hum as the lights cycle in attract mode!



#195 3 years ago

My blinders have a knack of randomly getting stuck on the metal wall of the ball trough and not opening (have to open the machine and push them up a bit and then they work). Anyone else run into this and if so, have any tips on how to fix? Thanks!

Edit: I'll have to try adjusting the pots on the servo board, maybe it's going too far back when closing.

1 week later
#201 3 years ago

I noticed that the manual states Adjustment 47 (Jackpot Criterion) defaults to Hard. With software version 4.00 it factory defaults to Extra Hard. Does anyone know what this actually means/changes (if anything)?

#204 3 years ago
Quoted from ChadH:

Adjustment 47 (Jackpot Criterion) and Adjustment 48 (Multiball Ready Style) are unused in version 4.00... so it does not matter what they are set to, they will have no effect on the game.

I thought that might be the case. Good to know - thanks, Chad!

1 week later
#208 3 years ago
Quoted from Fredeez:

Hi guys I wonder if you can help me sort out this conundrum with the blinders on my Tommy! the machine came without blinders so I managed to find an original set with the existing servo from the states as I live in the UK! and installed them along with a new Pinnovations board, the blinders can be set in their rest position and their fully open position using the pots on the board (so there is power to the board and the servo) but will not operate during game play or in test mode! This little problem is doing my head in!!! Please help me to sort this out! Cheers Guys!

Here's a possibility if you haven't tried this already. There is a small shaker motor board inside the coin door on the left side - if it is plugged in, try unplugging it. There's a thread about it here:


#211 3 years ago
Quoted from Fredeez:

Looks like the shaker motor was the problem thanks for the advice much appreciated now have a working set of blinders! Cheers!

Great news! Glad to help out. Enjoy blindly racking up those points during Tommy Scoring!

3 weeks later
#231 3 years ago

The pop bumpers on my machine were pretty bad when I got it - the bottom pop wouldn't go off enough and the top two were also fairly weak. I adjusted the leaf switches to be as close as possible and that helped a fair bit. After reading about changing spoons, I picked up some new ones from Pinball Life and changed them out - now the pops are killer. Factory DE spoons are stiffer (don't flex as easily) and have less of a conical shape compared to the new ones. Cycling through modes is a lot more random and fun now!

#239 3 years ago
Quoted from ChadH:

Here's something you've probably never seen... the "Multiball Ready" animation in Tommy is actually twice as long as what is displayed during gameplay. In the code they have the video repeating too soon, so the whole video is never played. At about the 19 second point in this link is when the video would normally end/restart. This means there is about 10 seconds of "never before seen" video.

That is so cool! Makes a lot more sense too, since triggering Multiball Ready plays "Sparks". Those extra scenes are from when young Tommy is being tested by doctors, choreographed to that music. Wish it played through now!

#243 3 years ago

Do any of you guys keep your playfield waxed? I just applied carnauba paste wax and the game is so fast I almost can't even see the ball sometimes. It's almost...comical.

#245 3 years ago
Quoted from BigLebowski:

does anybody know where this plastic goes in a Tommy?

That doesn't look like any plastic on my playfield. I don't think it's originally supposed to be in there!

1 week later
#257 3 years ago
Quoted from BigLebowski:

I´m reassembling my Tommy and it seems I didn´t take enough pictures.....
Can anybody help me putting these 3 plastic guards in their proper place? There´s two more which are square-like. I think I know where they go.

I can help you out later today when I get home from work - I'll take a bunch of pics so you can have exact original factory plastic placement!

#259 3 years ago

BigLebowski - as promised, here are all the original factory positions for the clear plastics! The hover-over captions help describe where they are just in case. If you need any additional pictures let me know.

Behind the VUK.
Under the right ramp.
Above the upper flipper.
On top of spotlights.
Left side of left ramp.
Next to the mirror.
Right side of right ramp.
Right side of left ramp.
Undernearth the left ramp (with white strip on top).

#263 3 years ago
Quoted from MAJRob:

Anyone have a nice plastic for Tommy? I am looking for the long one along the left side of the machine.

The one that's on eBay now looks pretty scratched up. I'll keep my eyes peeled for others, though.

#265 3 years ago

CPR is gauging interest on playfields in their "Boutique Zone" including Tommy. Use the email link on the right-hand side of the table and follow the instructions if you're interested! Ive, maybe this should go up on your Facebook page!


#267 3 years ago

If anyone follows pinball stuff on Instagram, I started a new account under the name "buzzersandbells". Feel free to follow the feed (and I'll follow any other pin related accounts in return)! I'll be posting tons of Tommy pics (from before I brought it home to now, through all of the restorations/modifications I've made) along with lots of photos of friends' games and events.


#269 3 years ago

I've noticed that the slingshot plastics I see around have different numbers on them. My original ones have 09 and 10 on them, but I've also seen 14 and 15 out there. Are 14 and 15 plastics the extras that were included with the machine (in the goodie bag) maybe?

2 weeks later
#273 3 years ago

If any one is considering putting an LED OCD board in their Tommy, here's a 1080p 60fps video comparison that I made after installing the board last night. I absolutely love the way it makes the LEDs fade like incandescents and it's very easy to install. I'm using mostly 1 SMD bulbs from Comet Pinball along with a few 2 SMDs in certain inserts. I no longer feel like I need sunglasses during the multi-ball light sequence.

#276 3 years ago

As Ive has posted in the ColorDMD 2016 thread and on the Facebook fan page, it definitely looks like Tommy is going to be their next release. I'm dying to see how this looks! So curious to see if they color the imagery and animations accurately - the show had very striking and vivid colors in its design. Can't wait to see how it turns out - yet another killer upgrade to consider...

#280 3 years ago
Quoted from Rascal_H:

Would anyone be able to post a top down pic of how their right spinner is attached? I don't think mine is right. Thanks.

Here's the original position of it - let me know if these work or if you need other angles.



#288 3 years ago

I decided to make myself some custom apron cards (I work as an art director/designer outside the pinball world) that kept the same information and layout as the originals, but with updated color and design. All type was redone from the ground up (I even matched the font used in Tommy on Broadway's marketing campaign) and all logos and graphic elements were drawn as vector art to make these as sharp and crisp as possible. Finished up by printing them out on high quality gloss brochure paper. I think they blend in seamlessly with the look of the machine, pretty happy with how they turned out. Makes me wish I had another game to make more cards for!

Comparison to original apron cards:

View with the rest of the playfield:

#289 3 years ago
Quoted from Rascal_H:

Thanks a lot! Mine looks the same I think other than my plastic being different (maybe mine busted or something). Just the ball seems to slow down there sometimes. Maybe just a minor tweak is needed.

Yep, it looks right - and your plastic is fine! It's original and mine is a repro from Pinball Center - I just like how it combines those 2 pieces into 1. I would try using some ultra fine sandpaper to polish the wire of the spinner and apply some synthetic lubricant (I used a Super Lube pen) where it makes contact with the bracket hole. That helped mine a good bit. The right orbit is legendary for slowing down the ball on Tommy haha.

#292 3 years ago
Quoted from Rascal_H:

Here's my Tommy going bananas.
» YouTube video
I think I traced the problem to the models connector for the switch being loose where they connect. I zip tied them together and it seems ok now.

Weird - it looks like the blinders are trying to open and are stuck too. They usually go off during ball search mode. Sometimes just pushing them up a bit will give them enough clearance to open. I actually had to bend the metal down a little that sits below them. I've heard the repeated "Tommy" mentioned when something is causing the sound board to constantly reboot. Let me know if you managed to fix it up!

1 week later
#336 3 years ago

I'm excited to see that Tommy got the ColorDMD treatment and it looks quite nice in action! As a digital artist and longtime fan of the 90's Broadway production, I dream of seeing a version that really captures the vivid colors of the show. Just for fun I took some screenshots and color tweaked them to look like what I picture in my head. It would be really cool to see it colored like this and have it all truly match the overall art package and branding. I'm sure the colorizing process has technical restraints and is undoubtedly extremely painstaking, but I can dream! If there is a way to make a version like this, I would certainly be willing to help out in any way. I'm interested to know more about the coloring process and how it works. These images below show the released color dots (top), my adjusted colors (bottom), and a photo reference.

Match Sequence

The Mirror

Acid Queen

Sally Simpson

#341 3 years ago
Quoted from gweempose:

The problem is that you only have a limited color pallet to work with when doing the colorization.

Yeah, I figured this is the case - I'm curious to know what the exact technical limitations are and how the coloring is done.

#342 3 years ago
Quoted from dmbjunky:

I would post that in the colorDMD thread and maybe they can use your suggestions in a code update. Don't be disappointed if it doesn't happen though.

I actually emailed them to Randy - he liked what he saw, but also shared info about the technical restrictions...and as I suspected, boy are they technical restrictions! What I've done is probably never possible, but he did send my images to Frank in case he wanted to make adjustments at some point - so maybe we'll see some small improvements. Pretty cool!

1 week later
#376 3 years ago

I finally got around to making this original factory rubber configuration chart for Tommy. My game still had the original (and very brittle) factory Happ black rubber on it and it was set up a bit differently from the manual. This revised diagram shows the actual factory setup along with some notes. I see a lot of photos out there with missing rubber parts or incorrect placement, so I hope this is useful for anyone who wants to accurately restore and retain the original factory rubber setup for their game. It's a high-resolution file, so be sure to click to expand then save. Enjoy!


#379 3 years ago
Quoted from Rascal_H:

Awesome job! This will definitely come in handy. Thanks!
Do you use original black? I think white looks good.

Thanks! Pretty happy with how the chart turned out. I use Titan silicone on the playfield (black) along with red Pinball Life PerfectPlay silicone for the flippers (slightly bouncier than Titan). It plays great. If I were to use rubber again I'd go white - mainly since it plays faster and bouncier than black rubber. Might try different Titan colors at some point, though.

One thing to note: Titan doesn't make a 1-3/4" ring yet so I used a 1-1/2" ring up by the pop bumpers. I think the tighter fit actually sends the ball into the pops a little stronger, so that's a plus.

1 month later
#396 3 years ago

I also have 3 Cliffy protectors installed in my machine - I can't say bounce outs are any worse and they don't happen often enough to bother me. The one place that does have slightly annoying bounce outs for me is the Skill Level eject lane/Extra Ball shot - I'll shoot the ball in there with a strong shot and sometimes it'll rattle out backwards back down the lane. I've pretty much learned to accept it as one of the game's quirks.

#398 3 years ago
Quoted from gweempose:

This never happens on mine. Perhaps your playfield is not steep enough?

It's 6.5 degrees, so pretty normal. My game does play really fast, though - so it might just sometimes be the force at which it gets launched into that lane by the flipper. It'll sometimes rattle out if it's flying in there haha.

#401 3 years ago
Quoted from Ive:

"O" inserts .......... ?????

Maybe the feature lamps that light "O" in TOMMY on the translite?

#403 3 years ago
Quoted from BigLebowski:

Exactly those , there's two for every letter in TOMMY behind the translite

Are the O lights on during gameplay? Do they light in lamp tests?

1 week later
#417 3 years ago

I just came across this while browsing YouTube - I'm pretty impressed. It's the exact kind of thing I wished I had before I got the real deal (FarSight, take note)! Not sure where he got that bomber plane model, though - everything else is dead on.

#419 3 years ago
Quoted from Psw757:

Question for you all.
As a big fan of the WHO and tommy, is there anyway or place in the game that some of the who's std music can be smartly integrated without making it seem odd?

PinSound owners have replaced the game's music with the corresponding original album tracks. That's the only real option there is. It's very cool, but might seem out of place to some. The versions of the songs in the game are much faster tempo and designed to work with all the sound effects and game speed, so it sounds more cohesive and fitting (to me at least). I do love the original album, though!

#428 3 years ago
Quoted from BigLebowski:

already is......

It may have been an NOS original set and not repro...I've seen them pop up on rare occasions here and there (snagged one myself on eBay a little while back).

#429 3 years ago

(Removed accidental double post)

#431 3 years ago
Quoted from BigLebowski:

they told me it´s repros

Yikes, that's a pretty steep price for all repros then!

#441 3 years ago
Quoted from bob_e:

AND the lower battery is in the wrong way!
All 3 batteries have been removed. A remote battery pack will be installed.

Go NVRAM if you can! It's inexpensive and just a quick chip swap (no soldering or board modification) for DE games. I got mine from barakandl on here.

#444 3 years ago
Quoted from gweempose:

There is no soldering involved on Tommy. The RAM is socketed. Just pop it off, and pop in the NVRAM. Anyone can do it.

Yep, just gotta be careful to not bend or break the teeth when pulling out the old chip (alternate lifting out each side with something flat like a small screwdriver or chip lifter tool), then the NVRAM chip just snaps right in.

1 month later
#474 3 years ago
Quoted from southbound:

I always assumed the silver ball topper that came with mine was original. Can anyone confirm if the stock ball has threads at the base?
That one was 7-1/2".
Because it was cracked, I replaced it with a 8-1/2" mirror gazing ball and think the new size looks much better.

Yes, this is the original ball topper and it is 7.5" in diameter (just measured mine to double check)!

1 week later
#478 3 years ago
Quoted from bob_e:

Replay Score changes, Why ??
Most of the time the DMD displays replay at 300,000 a few time it has been 350,000 and 400,000. Today it came up with 320,000.

By default it automatically adjusts replay score by 50 million increments based on recent high scores (there's a setting for it in the adjustments menu, I believe). You may have accidentally set the 320 million by opening the coin door while the replay score is on the DMD - this puts it into a "quick adjust" mode for the replay score and that goes by different increments (20 million in this case). If you press buttons while in this mode it adjusts the replay value.

#481 3 years ago
Quoted from gjm:

Does anyone know of an alternate translite for Tommy?

The only official "alternate" is the prototype translite, which can be sort of hard to come by (got mine on eBay a while back).

IMG_1468 (resized).JPG

2 months later
#498 3 years ago
Quoted from BigLebowski:

Recently I equipped my Tommy with Titan rings and sleeves, all in yellow, and it looked really nice. Unfortunately it made the game almost unplayable, at least for somebody with my limited skills. The Titans are extremely tacky and much bouncier than the normal rubbers. That made it very hard for me to get the ball into the VUK and it made the outlanes even more brutal than they usually are (which is brutal enough for my taste.... ). The skillshot also became harder because the ball would often bounce back into the right orbit instead of dropping into the hole. That almost never happens with normal rubbers.
The VUK also gets more difficult to hit because the diameter of the Titans is much bigger than the stock rubber sleeves Data East installed on those posts. On this picture you can see the original sleeve on the left, a Cliffy in the middle and a Titan on the right.

So I reverted back to stock black seleeves and now my Tommy is fun to play again. The outlanes still suck, but it´s much better than before.
I didn't manage to get to the Wizard mode yet, but at least I collected 8 or 9 modes and I´m positive that one day I´ll make it there.....

I changed my machine over to mostly Titan a while back and I guess I've just gotten used to it! It's certainly faster than stock and more challenging (especially combined with a waxed playfield and modern anti-loft target brackets). As for the VUK posts, that black one in the picture actually looks like modern Stern slim post sleeve. My game's original factory rubber had standard 1" black post sleeves (as opposed to 7/8" listed in the manual) that were the same size/diameter as the Cliffy ones. Never noticed the Titan ones being thicker (I changed them to Cliffy's at one point because of a better yellow) - now I'm curious about that!

2 months later
#535 2 years ago
Quoted from Chisox:

Hey guys new memberof the Tommy club. My all time favorite band combined with a well thought out game that's a lot of fun to play. What's not to like. I have a question posted in the general forum but thought this may give me some more direct answers. I bought new legs for my game (4 x 28.5" legs as it states in the manual). I can't get my playfield to pitch steeper than 5.6 degrees. So my question is, do you guys have longer legs on the back of your games? My next move is to buy two 30.5" legs for the back to get the pitch up, but was ineterested to see how everyone's games are set up in here.

My game has 4 x 28.5" legs as you mentioned (that's factory default). The leg levelers have 3" shafts (with bolts) with the front legs set as low as they can go and the back legs almost as high as they can go (maybe less than a 1/2" of shaft to spare). This gets the angle to 6.5 degrees. Hope that helps!

#540 2 years ago
Quoted from LOTR_breath:

My Tommy has longer legs on the back and I'm 99% sure that's how it came from the factory.

I'm in your 1% then! My machine was a bit of a "time capsule" where it was single-owner HUO and everything on it was still factory when I bought it from the original owner (original factory black rubber, original GE light bulbs, backbox door and speaker panel still screwed shut, factory zip-tied batteries (ugh), cardboard lining still inside the coin door). Anyway, nothing was ever changed on it by the previous owner (he didn't know how haha) and it has 4 x 28.5" black legs like the manual lists. Maybe there was variation in some? Who knows...

#546 2 years ago

Maybe this will help unravel the mystery - on my game the front lower bolt holes are roughly 3" up from the bottom of the cabinet and the back lower bolt holes are roughly 1" up from the bottom, so the hole height is offset to fit all equal 28.5" length legs.

2 weeks later
#554 2 years ago
Quoted from Fortytwo:

Can someone confirm this is correct for spinner mounting.
This was ether dissasembled by me over a month ago or by the previous owner a year ago. Trying to put the puzzle back together.

This is how mine is set up - with the metal supports for the spotlight fixture underneath the spacer. Pretty sure this is how it is from the factory. Right side of the spinner looks like yours except I had to use a slightly higher spacer since the plastic protector raised the left side a bit. Hope that helps!

IMG_9149 (resized).JPG

#556 2 years ago
Quoted from Fortytwo:

Thanks. That answers two or three questions. Like where that clear peice with the bracket goes.
I have alotnof clear parts I don't know where they go yet. That's what's takes soo to put this together.

I've got you covered! Take a look at my post below. My machine still had all original factory rubber, light bulbs, and plastic placement when I got it so I posted photographs of the factory locations of every clear plastic on the playfield to help folks out here.


I also made a guide of exact factory rubber configuration (slightly different from the manual):


Should help you solve the puzzle and speed things up a lot! If you have any other questions let me know.

#559 2 years ago
Quoted from Fortytwo:

I'm still thinking of putting a blue rubber pad on the back of the acid queen scoop. Should help protect the plastic. Anyone done anything here?

I don't have a pad in the back of mine, but I do have PinBits plastic protectors under all the plastics to protect them all from underneath, including that VUK one. Some people have put foam or padding in the back of that, but mainly to try and reduce bounce-outs.

2 weeks later
#574 2 years ago
Quoted from tomh52722:

Hello fellow Tommy owners. I wanted to get some advice about an area that my ball gets stuck in every once in a while (see attached picture). It's not a huge deal, but it always seems to happen in multiball and tends to ruin that game. Does anyone else have this problem? Any suggestions? Thanks

The factory positioning of that plastic on top of the VUK is actually a little different - you can see it in my post here:


I'm not sure if adjusting its position would help prevent balls getting stuck in that spot, though - especially if you're getting a lot of air balls. One of the things I did on my machine was change the backing brackets on the 3 white standup and silver ball targets to modern Stern anti-loft brackets from Pinball Life. This along with new foam has pretty much eliminated all ball hops in my game.

3 weeks later
#596 2 years ago
Quoted from kilmarnock1350:

What is the right configuration for the wire form ball guide on the inside just past the right spinner?
The spinner bracket has been bent and the wire form doesn't fit in the grey post cut out.
This area always slows the ball down so I assume the spacing should be a tad wider with the wire form guide riding in the post cutout.

Yep, that looks correct. One interesting thing is that my playfield doesn't have a hole to the left to the gray post under the yellow plastic and the wood area under the yellow plastic's hole on mine is painted white. Must have been some variation in playfields!

4 months later
#644 2 years ago
Quoted from vicrattlehead:

If its not too much trouble, could you post a pic please?

I made this post a while back with pictures showing the original factory positioning of all clear plastic guards on my Tommy. Hope this helps!


1 month later
#719 2 years ago
Quoted from lhammer610:

I am getting dramatic airballs off the pinball target. I have disassembled it and bent the bracket forward, but that did not seem to fix it. I am wondering, considering it is a 3D round target, if its height is insufficient? And the pinball is hitting above the center of the target and flying up? It is so bad, than under occasion, the ball flies all the way over the flippers and down the drain.
Also, the left scoop solenoid shoots the ball just to the end of the right flipper - sometimes down the drain. I have cleaned the solenoid and checked the wiring. It seems to be firing OK, but might be a little weak? Angle of the game is set properly - I think the manual specifies 6.5 deg. Back feet are almost all the way up while front are down - level reads the specified value.

Yep, make sure your foam is good. I also installed modern Stern anti-loft hardware on the targets in my machine (the silver ball and the 3 white standups) and I hardly ever see airballs. Might be worth a try...


If I recall correctly, the back plate won't work with the silver ball target but the bottom bracket fits and makes a big difference in stability/sturdiness. All of the pieces can be used on the white targets.

The left scoop trajectory seems strange - that kicks out to the left flipper on my game (about 2/3 of the way down it). Ejecting to the right flipper seems drastically different - I'd definitely check what dsuperbee said check the steel guide to see if it's bent or turned somehow.

#723 2 years ago
Quoted from lhammer610:

Not sure about that Stern add on for targets. I think all three of those switches have the back plate. What does that Stern anti-loft hardware replace / do?

Those kits are replacements for the brackets and back plates - they're structurally a lot sturdier than the originals. I replaced both the bracket and back plate on the 3 white standup targets and they are much stiffer, don't move left or right (the original brackets and plates tended to lean to one side after a while), and don't cause airballs. I could only replace the bracket on the silver ball target (since it has less clearance fitting through the playfield and different screws). It still helped to really tighten it up and stop airballs along with new foam.

1 month later
#742 2 years ago
Quoted from zacaj:

Could anyone grab some pictures of the clear air ball guards? Not sure where some of mine go after my teardown.

Quoted from HIPPY:

This thread, topic #259, has clear plastics map.

Here's a link to my post - hope it helps!


3 months later
#767 1 year ago
Quoted from topcat2:

Hi Guys I started restoring a Tommy and was buying led's but cant find the placements for the #455 bulbs any help would be great
Cheers Steve

Here you go - this is where the 2 #455 blinkers go (circled in red):

Tommy_455 (resized).jpg

3 months later
#820 1 year ago
Quoted from RipleYYY:

just played TOMMY on my pincab (with unofficial ROM installed), and see something i've never seen before (not listed in the easter eggs, and didnt read the full topic here, than surelly i'm not the 1st) : Tommy wanted to break the mirror, and the man on his right (his father ?) shoot him with a gun...

It's part of the story - Tommy's father (Captain Walker) goes missing during the war and is presumed dead. He finds Mrs. Walker with another man when he returns home and he shoots the other lover in self-defense. Tommy sees all of it happen in the mirror, leading to his traumatized state.

4 months later
#851 1 year ago

Has anyone here installed a GIzmo (herg's little LED GI smoother) in their Tommy? I've had OCD-controlled LEDs under my inserts for a while and recently tried switching to LEDs in my GI. The extra brightness is nice, but I'm not a fan of how harsh it makes the GI blinking. Caker137's EnerGI Maestro board is currently waitlisted, so I was wondering if the GIzmo might be a good (and cheaper) solution if I just want basic smoothing. There's a note that the fit is very tight on Tommy, so I'm curious about that as well. If anyone has any insights, thanks!

9 months later
#1035 3 months ago
Quoted from zahner:

I did end up with a prototype translite, but it’s actually 2” shorter than the production version. Same width. Figuring out if and how I want to use it.

This is interesting to me - I picked up a prototype translite on eBay a while back and it's the exact same size as the production one. Seems like parts of the top and bottom are cut off on yours.

#1047 3 months ago
Quoted from zahner:

Probably. Wouldn’t surprise me.
You have a picture of the entire thing?

This post has a shot from when I had it installed in my game:


4 weeks later
#1120 60 days ago
Quoted from pinballjah:

Where is the logo on the spinner from? Is it related to the play or film? Looks like an Middle Eastern symbol. Not sure how it relates to the game? Thanks.

In the Broadway production and they used a lot of cool imagery as backdrop projections and on video screens. One side of the spinner is Tommy holding out his hand, which is definitely from the show. The other side...it could be something abstract from the projections...or just a poorly drawn flaming pinball haha.

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